Before joining Kekst CNC, Erik worked in Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where he served as Foreign Minister Carl Bildt’s Press Secretary and Spokesperson.
Erik works at the interface of corporate reputation, media relations and Public Affairs, with a particular focus on developing JKL’s offer of strategic communication counsel for executive management. Before joining Kekst CNC, Erik worked in Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where he served as Foreign Minister Carl Bildt’s Press Secretary and Spokesperson. He has also worked as Global Head of Media Relations at Electrolux and as a writer and commentator for the think-tank Timbro and the leading daily
He is author of the books Popvänstern (2004) and Hejdå Östeuropa! (2007). Erik holds an MSc in Marketing from the Stockholm School of Economics, a BA in Ethnology from Stockholm University and has studied Law at Lund University.
Q&A with Erik
What has been the biggest change in the industry since you started working?
When, as a student, I joined politics, I did it mainly because I loved to write. The pieces I produced then, in the early 1990’s, still had to be sent to media on printed paper via regular post service. When I published my first book, in 2004, traditional media was still the main channel to communicate the content after launch. So the entry of internet, e-mail, then social media and smartphones is of course the biggest over all change. Our industry is impacted by many other important changes, for example the globalization of the media landscape, the fact that business has become a driver of sustainability and the emerging challenges of privacy, alt facts and fake news. But most of these changes are somehow linked to the emergence of internet.
What is the most beautiful thing to say or hear in a meeting?
“I have an idea!”
Who is the most impressive speaker you’ve ever heard?
At four different occasions when I was in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, I was fortunate enough to be in a room where President Barack Obama was addressing the audience. As so many have concluded before me, he is a speaker one of a kind. Both in how he interacts with the people in the room, but also in how he builds and structures the message. Business leaders can make huge progress in their communication by learning from skilled politicians like Obama. That’s an insight I try to use as a communication’s advisor.
What is the most exciting city you’ve ever been to?
It’s impossible to say. I am an urban fanatic. There are so many exciting cities in the world, and while following the Minister I was happy to visit some of them. Kabul, Baghdad, New Delhi and Timbuktu were immensely interesting, highlighting some of the challenges – and opportunities – of our time. São Paulo, Shanghai and Santiago were of course striking examples of modern globalization and to different extents – as Rene Descartes in the 17th century defined a great city – inventories of the possible. But it was even more fascinating to see how globalization has found its way in cities like Tehran and Ulaanbaatar.
What are the major industry challenges in the next 3 to 5 years?
Same as it has always been, to keep speed with an ever-changing technology and society. In particular to understand and handle how these changes impacts stakeholder complexity, revenue streams and people’s values.